Heatmaps are probably one of the most vital things in finding optimal settings for a website of any kind.

So What?

Maybe you want to find out how people are using a new landing page you built for your Adwords campaign or built fancy new sidebar navigation for your website. Without tracking where people are clicking around on your website, you won’t know if your users have the same vision as you do. I find without using heatmaps; you spend your time guessing what will work. Why guess?

What do you want me to do?

Go sign-up for an account at CrazyEgg.com. It’s free and allows for quite a bit of testing without upgrading one of their paid models. They ask you to drop a javascript code, much like the one from Google Analytics, into your HTML so they can track where people are clicking. Startup a quick test for 100 clicks, and you will see what I’m talking about. Plus, once the test is done, they will email you to let you know. Really, this is a set and forget a thing—however, it’s pretty addicting to check it often to see how the stats play out.

Once the test is done, you can review all the different types of stats. By default, it shows what links people have clicked on and how many times they clicked on them. It can even tell you what kind of traffic clicked on the link. Of course, there is the heatmap itself, which breaks down where people’s click patterns are. This is important to see where your website has people’s eyes and mouse going. You can better optimize the site, so people are clicking on what you think are the most important items. The newest addition to CrazyEgg is the confetti system, which is a dotted breakdown of exact click points on the site. Very handy and fun to look at.

Try heatmaps on something small. A landing page or a small singular page on your site. It takes 5 minutes and is worth learning how to do and understand.